Local and national companies pledge goods, money for Irma disaster relief

Tampa Bay Lightning employee Toni Connor, left, holds the hand of Daira Jenkins, 2, as they make their way through a food line for residents of Robles Park on Thursday. | [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
Tampa Bay Lightning employee Toni Connor, left, holds the hand of Daira Jenkins, 2, as they make their way through a food line for residents of Robles Park on Thursday. | [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
Published Sep. 15, 2017

Following Hurricane Irma, businesses both national and local are coming out in droves to donate goods and funds to those affected by the storm.

COMPLETE COVERAGE:Find all our coverage about Hurricane Irma here

Here are some of the dozens of organizations and companies involved:

• Florida AFL-CIO established a disaster relief fund for union members affected by the storm and is soliciting donations. The funds will go to food, water, gas cards, construction supplies and "essentials." For more information, visit

• Ashley Furniture Industries Inc. is discounting inventory worth upward of $1 million in Florida and Texas for those whose furniture was affected by the recent hurricanes.

• WellCare Health Plans Inc. is donating $1 million to state-run Volunteer Florida.

• Qualcomm is donating $1 million to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to help with Irma recovery. The company previously donated $1 million for relief after Hurricane Harvey.

• The Miami HEAT Charitable Fund, Carnival Corporation and Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation Fund pledged $10 million in "funding and in-kind support" for post-Hurricane Irma recovery in Florida and the Caribbean. The Micky and Madeleine foundation is donating $2.5 million to UNICEF, Direct Relief and the United Way of Miami-Dade County for immediate disaster relief. Carnival and the Miami HEAT fund are donating a combined $5 million.

• The Aetna Foundation donated $50,000 to the Florida Disaster Fund, which is run by the Volunteer Florida Foundation.

• UnitedHealthcare, UnitedHealth Group and Optum donated $1 million for areas of Florida affected by Hurricane Irma. It is also matching two-to-one for employee donations to specific disaster relief organizations.

• Winn-Dixie is giving free ice and water to Tampa Bay residents affected by the hurricane. It is supplying 1,500 cases of bottled water and 40,000 pounds of ice to select stores. For more information, visit

• Bayfront Health St. Petersburg offered free virtual appointments until Friday through its non-emergency service, Virtual Health Connect.

• Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa First Responders, Outback Steakhouse, Mr. Empanada, PDQ, Ford's Garage and Marriott Waterside fed residents of Robles Park, which is owned by the Tampa Housing Authority, on Thursday.

• Cigar City Brewing, Ball Corp. and CAN'd Aid Foundation shipped 163,200 cans of water to Florida counties that currently do not have clean drinking water.

• AT&T employees are providing RV charging stations in Key West, as well as 200 AT&T prepaid devices with 30 days of unlimited talk and text, 500 bottles of Gatorade and 1,000 bottles of water. The RVs can charge 60 devices at one time, and will be in front of Key West's AT&T store. The store is currently closed.

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Staff writers Ernest Hooper, Tom Tobin, and Robert Trigaux contributed to this report. Contact Malena Carollo at or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo on Twitter.